In Canada the leaves are usually called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander. Enjoy the frilly foliage and don't forget to eat the flowers too! Use the flowers as a pretty garnish for salads or other creations. You can also eat the root. The leaves with the root make a nice pesto when blended with lime and pumpkin seeds.
Cilantro has a strong distinctive taste and is commonly used in Mexican, South American and Asian cooking. Last week I used cilantro in a vinaigrette, to top a stir fry, in Thai fresh pea soup, over a salad and in fresh rice wraps.... the possibilities go on and on.
Last fall I bought organic cilantro seeds for cooking. I grind them for flavouring in various recipes but then I realized they could most likely be grown. Little packages of cilantro seeds are at least $1.49 where I live and organic ones cost even more. I bought the whole jar of coriander seed for a little over $3.
Below is a photo of cilantro seedlings from these seeds sprouting in my house early February. This basket eventually got moved outdoors and I got an ample supply well into May. Now, I have two long containers in use and another one in the garden I seeded a few weeks ago.
Grow your own cilantro from organic seed. I find it is not worth buying the store-bought plants as they don’t last long.
Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc.
Chapman's Landing Cooking Studio